Now, does this mean that this blog is coming to an end? No, but there'll be fewer posts for (knock on wood) the foreseeable future. Also, in addition to the Weekly, three other factors are competing for my attention right now. The first is my part-time gig at the Record Exchange. The second is my role as contributor/copyeditor for The Exposition, a Boise-based music website. Jenny Bowler, whose fine photographs appeared in my Treefort 2013 posts, has taken up its reins. There's some interesting stuff in the works, so find it on Facebook and stay tuned.
The third is... Well, she's about 5'9" (correction: she's actually 5'7") with brown-blond hair, blue-green eyes, a smile like the springtime sun and a curve in her back that drives me to distraction. She's smart, she's kind, she's tough, she's passionate and she's got good taste--likes Dorothea Lange, Rosalie Sorrels, The A-Team, old-school hip-hop and lots more. So if, on a given Friday or Saturday night, I'm given the choice between covering a show and snuggling with her while watching Rio Bravo or Black Dynamite... Well, sorry, but you'll just have to tell me what I missed.
But with all of this said, let me be emphatic: I may not write here as often, but I will keep this blog going for as long as I can. For one thing, it allows me to write more informally and (at my best) colorfully. But more importantly, I know that this blog and its readers have made all of the above possible for me. As I've written before, HCTD is easily the best thing that's happened in my life. I love it too much to just abandon it.
This announcement has gotten much longer than I wanted, so I'll end it by thanking all of you once again for your readership and support. It means more to me than I could ever say or write.
I've respected Evil Wine since I discovered it two years ago, and my respect has only deepened since then. Their penchant for smart, raunchy, left-of-center fare has been an invaluable addition to the Boise scene; I've thought of them sometimes as the moon to Duck Club Presents' sun. Also, I've been impressed by how Wes Malvini and Dustin Jones conduct themselves professionally.
I meant to write about last year's Evil Wine Carnival, but between hitting the live shows hard all summer and learning the ropes at a new job, I was good and burned out at the time (I had a small meltdown at the end of the Carnival that I still regret). Anyway, I saw this year as a chance to make up for dropping the ball. I was also happy for the chance to write a feature for the Weekly about Evil Wine (though I made the error of crediting Wes Malvini with starting Gramma's House. My apologies for that).
I worked a closing shift at the Record Exchange this night, so I got down to the VaC late. Although I missed quite a few of the musical acts and didn't get to see anybody play any of the games, between seventy and eighty people were still there when I arrived.
Highlights (of what I saw/heard, anyway):
Drinking Contest--Held during Glenn Mantang's set (agreeably trashy punk rock). Winner Tina B. managed to down a bowl of beer before Mantang and backing band finished the song "Malt Licker." As I recall, she was still vertical and going strong for much of the Carnival's remainder. Girl's a viking.
Outside after his set, I overheard this quote from Glenn Mantang to his boss: "I will be there [with] eyes closed! Cuz I don't ever call in hung over, Rich! I call in sick!"
Scantily clad Dustin Jones and Wes Malvini--Because it just isn't an Evil Wine Carnival if these two keep their clothes on.
Carnival Games--I didn't play them, but just looking at them made me grin. My favorite was Birth Your Savior, which involves reaching inside the Virgin Mary and trying to extract Jesus from among the other icons (Buddha, etc.). Erin Nelson from the Rediscovered Bookshop showed me her slightly discolored hand as proof that she'd tried this one out.
This game was a very close second.
Headless Pez--When I interviewed him, Dustin Jones expressed particular excitement about this four-man Portland metal band. Seeing them, I could understand why. Between the dildo-pentagram backdrop, the abs drawn in Sharpie on the lead singer's belly, the bassist's ass-less chaps and song titles like "Handy Dandy Butt Candy" and "Dr. Bonerstein," this group could've sprung out of an episode of The Evil Wine Show. Their impressive chops--squiggly guitar noise, relentless riffing, machine-gun kick drum, banshee-wail vocals--made them even funnier.
Some quotes from this set:
"This next song's about boners! And Satan!"
"This song's called Power Death it's by Pantera f*ck you!"
"I totally forgot the words! Hahaha!"
"Shut the f*ck up! This part's pretty! Shut up!"
Introducing their final number, a song about a gay skeleton: "He's scarier than a normal skeleton because he'll butt-f*ck you!"
Kitchen--Twin Falls trio. Good stuff--strong beat, harshly catchy tunes, snarling distortion, caterwauling vocals. Worth hearing again, I thought (though admittedly, I'd had a fair amount to drink by this point).
Matthew and Charlotte Vorhies--I didn't get to see this guy play with Storie Grubb and the Holy Wars, but he and his wife deserve a mention here because they were just too damn adorable. I mean, c'mon, look at them.
The Voodoo Organist--Woulda been worth the price of admission by himself. Tongue-in-cheek horror-movie melodies and lyrics (song titles: "Do the Zombie," "Vampire Empire"), charmingly sepulchral vocals, rockin' organ and theremin solos (flying hands and feet).
Andy D--"I got drunk a couple of hours ago," Andy D said at the start of his set. "I'm gonna burn out the rest of my drunkenness onstage." And so he did, belting and gyrating and dropping off the stage to dance with the crowd (just the guys, though--didn't want to piss off Victoria D/Anna Vision, maybe). The crowd stayed with him, grooving out to such irresistible numbers as "New Addiction," "Angels on the Dancefloor" and "Hey Tina (Pick Up the Phone)" (possibly my new favorite). If Evil Wine had done nothing other than bring this act to Boise, it would've justified its existence.
During this set, a dude from Headless Pez gave me a hug from behind, grabbed my crotch and handed me a sticker. Made my night.
Tartufi--A late but welcome addition to the Carnival. Aside from a couple of small slip-ups, this San Francisco trio sounded as roiling and tuneful as ever. Listening to them again, I was struck by the warm, expansive spirit of this group's music. It could've been the audience; Lynne Tartufi said at one point that they loved Boise "probably more than San Francisco, but don't tell them that." Like I've said before, they oughtta just buy a house here.
You can find info on the various acts and Evil Wine on Facebook and elsewhere online. Very special thanks to Wes Malvini, Dustin Jones and Evil Wine.